Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
As the country marks its 50th year of Independence, seven persons have been bestowed with national honours for their contribution to the Jamaican music industry.
The appointments were made yesterday by the governor general Sir Patrick Allen, acting on the advice of the prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
Four of the seven persons have used their voices to place Jamaica on the global map, while the remaining three are known for the melodious tunes they have used their instruments to play.
Twenty-five years after his passing, Winston Hubert McIntosh, better know as 'Peter Tosh', has been conferred with the Order of Merit (OM). This is the country's third highest honour.
Tosh was awarded for his seminal contribution to the evolution of Jamaican popular music. He now joins the late Robert Nesta Marley as the only two reggae artistes to have received this distinction.
Tosh, a core member of The Wailers, is credited with being instrumental in teaching Bob Marley how to play the guitar. Tosh, who died in 1987, won a posthumous Grammy for his album No Nuclear War in 1988.
Neville 'Bunny Wailer' Livingstone, an original member of The Wailers, was also awarded.
Livingstone, the only living member of the trio, was given The Order of Jamaica (OJ) for his pioneering contribution to Jamaica's musical development.
Grammy-winning artiste Rainford Hugh Lee 'Scratch' Perry, arguably one of the greatest champions of promoting reggae and dub throughout Europe and the United States, was also conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander.
The award honours Scratch's pioneering work in the development of Jamaican music.
Perry's musical career began in the late 1950s as a record seller for Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd and later blossomed when he became a solo artiste, releasing hits such as Soul Fire and Blood In a Babylon.
Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert was also recognised for his outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaican popular music. He is credited as one of the first persons to use the word 'reggae' and has been conferred with the Order of Jamaica
The three musicians who were honoured are: Peter Firman Ashbourne, Fred Anthony 'Tony' Gregory and Clifton Courtney 'Jackie' Jackson.
Ashbourne, a composer, arranger and songwriter was conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for his dedicated and outstanding service to the development of many genres of music in Jamaica.
The child prodigy on the violin and pioneer vocal arranger in the golden era of Jamaica's rocksteady music was also presented with the Prime Minister's Award in 2004.
Bass player 'Jackie' Jackson also received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for outstanding contribution to the development of the Jamaican music industry.
Jackson is most famous for playing bass on songs such as You Can Get It If You Really Want and Wonderful World by Jimmy Cliff, Drifter by Dennis Walks and Nice Time and Hypocrites by The Wailers.
Finally, reggae crooner Tony Gregory received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for more than 50 years of contribution to the development of Jamaica's pop music.
Gregory honed his talent at the Alpha Boys' School and has written and performed some classic love songs, including Baby Come on Home and Only A Fool Breaks His Own Heart.
Moncrieffe, artistic director of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), was conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for his contribution to the performing arts and the local fashion industry.
Moncrieffe started out as a supporting dancer and continued as a lead male dancer, artistic coordinator and associate director of the NDTC. He became a full member within a year of the NDTC's formation in 1962.
He has taught internationally in Hong Kong, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.
Writer Cyntia Lucy Wilmot was honoured with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for her outstanding contribution to media communications and theatre.
Wilmot is recognised as one of Jamaica's best-known writers and directors of film documentaries. Also recognised as an accomplishment journalist, Wilmot was also awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica and has earned an honorary life membership in the Press Association of Jamaica.